On May 22, 2009, I attended the National Maritime Day celebration in Baltimore, MD. Set aside to honor and reflect on the maritime industry and those who serve, the day was marked with speeches honoring those who served in wars and conflicts dating back to World War II and special guests participating in the ceremony. What made the event special was the vessel being used to hold the ceremony that day.
The Nuclear Ship (NS) Savannah is a one-of-a-kind vessel in the US Flagged fleet. Her keel was laid on May 22, 1958, and in one-year time, the ship was launched on July 21, 1959.
Her name and date to begin construction were chosen to honor the historic Steam Ship Savannah. On May 22, 1819, the SS Savannah set off to create history by becoming the first steam ship to successfully cross the Atlantic Ocean. Departing from Savannah, GA, her steam-powered paddle wheels and sails carried the vessel across the deep blue to Liverpool, England in 28 days.
The NS Savannah operated commercially for only a few years before being retired. While she was designed to be an active commercial and passenger vessel, her real purpose was to be a test platform and international emissary to show the peaceful application of nuclear power. However, due to her unique design and concerns over nuclear power at the time, her ports-of-call were limited.
She is now a floating museum.
If you notice in the toolbar above, there are pages containing many photos of the Savannah and pictures from the ceremony. Please take a few minutes to view the images. If you have any Savannah stories or photos to share, please feel free to comment and share with the rest of us.
(This site is under construction, so presentation might change during your visit.)